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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant

Deadline: July 25, 2017

The Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant provides technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Grants are available for Cooperative Development Centers, Individual Cooperatives, or Groups of Cooperatives that serve socially-disadvantaged groups and where a majority of their board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of socially-disadvantaged groups.

Grants must be used to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance are:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Business plans
  • Strategic planning
  • Leadership training

Rural and rural area is defined as: (i) any area of a state not in a city or town that has a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants, according to the latest decennial census of the United States; and (ii) the contiguous and adjacent urbanized area. For the purposes of this definition, cities and towns are incorporated population centers with definite boundaries, local self-government, and legal powers set forth in a charter granted by the state. Please refer to solicitation for more details, as needed.

Amount: A total of $3,000,000 is available to award up to 30 grants that range up to $175,000.

Eligibility: Cooperatives, groups of cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers that serve socially-disadvantaged groups and where a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of socially-disadvantaged groups. Federally-recognized tribes and tribal entities must demonstrate that they meet all definition requirements for one of the three eligible applicant types. Below are relevant definitions:

  • Cooperative: a business or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services and where a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of socially-disadvantaged groups. Profits and earnings generated by the cooperative are distributed among the members, also known as user-owners.
  • Cooperative Development Center: a nonprofit corporation or institution of higher education operated by the grantee for cooperative or business development and where a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of socially-disadvantaged groups. It may or may not be an independent legal entity separate from the grantee.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=294476

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